Monday, June 30, 2008

I’ll have a cartoon with my search

According to a piece I just read in the NY Times that search giant Google has apparently struck some sort of deal with Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy:

LOS ANGELES — Google is experimenting with a new method of distributing original material on the Web, and some Hollywood film financiers are betting millions that the company will succeed.

In September, Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” on television, will unveil a carefully guarded new project called “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.” Unlike “Family Guy,” which is broadcast on Fox, this animation series will appear exclusively on the Internet.

(via NY Times — free registration required)

Apparently this web-only content has been described “animated versions of the one-frame cartoons you might see in The New Yorker, only edgier.”

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dilbert Rules

As a certifiable geek-ball and funnybook fan I obviously love the comic strip Dilbert. I think that this is one of the funniest strips out there. In fact, I enjoy this strip so much, every year, for Christmas, my wife purchases me a gag-a-day, Dilbert desk calendar. Well, I recently came across these two strips which totally cracked me up, because a good friend of mine (Ed Traquino by name) is, well a Limy and I thought of him when I read this (Oh yea, Ed, like me is a member of CAG).

These are for you Ol’ Son! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Hey, last night I went to see Wanted, — which, as we all know is based on the eponymous Top Cow comicbook by written by Mark Millar with art by J. G. Jones. I justed wanted to crack wise, praise it for being wonderful. The film’s premise is that about a 1,000 year-old fraternity of assassins grew out of a society of weavers, who wanted to keep the world in a proper order. They get their mission hits from a mystical loom that is powered by Fate. The targets come out in a series of codes that are translated by their leader, Sloan (Morgan Freeman). well the fraternity’s safety is compromised by Cross, and assassin gone rouge. So his son Wesley (James McAvoy)is recruited to be trained and fight back. this flick co-stars Angelina Jolie as Fox, one of the fraternity’s top hitters.

This film shows off it’s pedigree as the premise of it could only have been developed by comicbooks writers as it really only works in sort of a Matrix-style universe, where assassins can “curve” bullets, or speed up their hears so that they can react faster to situations than those around themselves. Don’t get me wrong, this is all fine, and — for the purpose of this film — that premise works just fine, but it it really is the sort of shorthand that comicbook writers use to get their stories to work.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Scrub yourself clean with Spider-Man

Yep, I’m just as whacked as I can possibly be. The other day I was in Wal-Mart, and well you guessed it, I found yet a new Spidey-product to clog the shelves of my house. If you look to the left you will see a new bottle of Spidey-bubble bath. I already have a couple of other Spider-clean items (and talked about them in October of last year), but, well, there is always room for more odd-ball Spider-crap in my house (Just so long as the loving wife doesn’t find out).

I know that it is safe to post about it because, a) she never reads my blog and b) to her, all my Spidey stuff looks like all my other Spidey stuff.

So, I figure that for a while I’m good. Just no one tell her that I’m acquiring all this stuff, eh?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There’s a Joker in my cereal!

No, really, I’m not kidding, there is a real live (OK, so he’s not “alive” live, but you know what I mean) Joker in my cereal. Yeah, Yeah, I know that me talking about Batman isn’t something that you really expect me to be doing here on this blog, but you have to believe, me here, there is like a real reason. Stay with me for just a minute, and I’ll get there. (Oh, and if you aren’t hungry yet, you soon will be.)

So, it isn’t like I’ve gone over to the DC side of comics, but, well, I’ve been picking up comics-related, movie tie-in toys for like two months now, and — ya gotta believe me — I really couldn’t help myself. Really. You see, I have this sort of fetish about collecting food-related toys, and well, this qualifies as comicbook-related food toys, so it is fair game.

So here it is. I couldn’t help myself. Well, I actually spotted my first Dark Knight-related food toy today. It was a box of cereal with Batman figures in them. Personally, I’m more of a Cheerios for breakfast kind of guy, but well, I spotted these Golden Grahams with Batman figures, and I figured that I’d snag one. Only I didn’t get a Batman figure, but a Joker figure, which is cool, I suppose.

ANd that isn’t the last of it, apparently there are Batman Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, (and in more than one configuration, Yep, there are chocolate Batmans all over), as well as in Cheerios.

More as this develops.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Steven Colbert Spider

OK, I was watching the Colbert Report this morning (I was at a local concert last night, so I missed it when it first aired, so I’m watching it now). Well, they just aired a clip that I had to post here. Colbert has apparently just had a species of spider named after him. During the report, he had the scientist doing the naming on the phone. Make sure you watch the image of the scientist that he as posted. (Sound required.)

Seriously, what could be funnier than this?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It’s an Abomination, I tell you!

Well, I finally wrapped up my collection of Incredible Hulk Burger King toys. The final figure is the Abomination tossing a dumpster (perhaps I’ll post another vid of Iron Monger pounding the Abomination). Anyway, if you look close at the picture, you can see a poster of Spidey that is hanging on the far wall of my office.

Also posted, it the promised picture (blurry again, sorry guys) of the Christmas ornament that my kids got me, you can almost see it says #1 Dad in the banner at the bottom (which is why it hangs in my office all year rather than just on the tree in December).

OK, so now that I have gotten all of the superhero-movie fast food tie-in toys that are currently available, I’ll now have to go back to writing about comics for a bit. Which is cool, because I have some more Indie comics that were produced by my friends that I’d like to discuss.

Now, I have to go back to some paying work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Marvel Tchachkas

So, just because I have this stuff laying all around me and I wanted to make you guys jealous talk about it, I figure that I’d post pics of a couple of other Spidey/Marvel-related stuff I acquired from a dispensing machine a couple of years ago.

The “gum machine” was located inside the breezeway of a local Wal-Mart. Every time I went in I dropped a quarter in the machine. Lucky for me, I never wound up with any duplicates.

These items were like a quarter (if I recall correctly). There might have been more of them, but I have a tendency to stop picking up this stuff when I score the Spidey toy. Anyway, these were small, plastic medallions hung on a string.

As you can see, I have Spider-Man, an FF logo, The Thing, and I believe the last one is Thanos (I was reminded of them when Tommy brought up the stickers he got in the ‘90s).

I also have a Christmas ornament that my kids got me at a craft show which I’ll post as soon as I get the image out of my phone. Currently the ornament hangs on the wall of my office.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hulk Smash!

Has anyone (besides me, that is) gone into a fast food franchise intent on purchasing, not so much the food that comes with the Toy-of-the-Week, but toy itself? See, I do this all the time, and well I don’t want to slander those fine folks who work behind the counter, because — well, somebody has to work there, and (no offense) but I’m so totally glad that it isn’t me.

Anyway, here is what I very often go through whenever I try to purchase a specific toy.

Me: “Could you tell me what toy you have today?”

Fast Food worker: “The Hulk”

Me: “Yea, I know that. Could you please tell me which toy?”

FFW: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Could you please look?”

FFW: “Oh, OK.”

Me (Wishing the cops hadn’t taken all of my guns) “Thanks.”

Yeah, well I can’t tell you how many times I go through this scenario. Anyway. Here is one of this week’s two toys. I’m hoping to snag the sixth and final toy tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Spidey in an egg

Well, not really an egg, but a plastic egg; the kind you find in toy stores, diners, and (some) fast food places. Saturday I took my daughter and her friend to lunch at a local Duchess (a local fast food chain in my area), and was checking out the toy dispensers that they have near the door (sometimes that have a Spidey toy in that arm-grabber device), and well — lo and behold — they did have a machine that dispensed Marvel-related toys.

So, for a buck I figured that I’d indulge myself, and wow, wouldn’t you know? I came out with a Spidey toy! Better yet, it is that classic John Romita, Sr. pose of Spidey clinging to the brick wall. There was another Spidey figure (also a Cap, and a Hulk, and perhaps a Wolverine), but I only had four quarters. Still, to hit Spidey on the first try I thought was pretty cool.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Classic Comics

Hey, anyone out there remember Classics Illustrated? Well, if you do, and want to read them again, (or if you don’t and would like to read them for the first time), you can do it. I’ve just been informed by a librarian friend of mine that several of the old Classics Illustrated titles have been scanned and posted to the web. If you are at all interested, feel free to check them out.

I’ve paged through a couple myself, and they read pretty well. Now wile I still don’t think that reading comicbooks online is ever really going to replace reading them in meatspace, I do feel that by scanning and posting old classics like this, it gives fans of this work the opportunity to see them even if they can’t afford to purchase them (especially if there are no reprints available).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Drink Up Ol’ Son!

Back in the days before ebay, when hunting up rare or exotic funnybook stuff, You would have to happen across it at a flea market, comicbook show, or have been lucky enough to have spotted it all on your own as you wandered aimlessly through your daily lives. These days, it doesn’t matter that you live on the other Coast, never saw it in the first place, or just got to the store too late to score one for yourself, as you can always simply go online and hang around long enough to find one (at a reasonable price) for yourself.

(As an unavoidable aside, I collected the Simpsons Burger King figures from the recent film,and managed to score all of them except for Abu, the Indian fellow who runs the Quickie Mart. I was going to go on online to grab one up, except that the cheapest I saw him for was for a couple of three bucks, plus another three or four bucks for shipping, and I simply wasn’t going to pay close to eight bucks for an item that I could have acquired for less than a dollar when it was out, simply to have a complete set. I figure that if I see it at a convention or elsewhere I’ll grab it, but in the mean time I’m not that much of a Simpsons fan to actually care.)

Anyways, to get back to my point I not only recently completed my Iron Man 7-eleven straw collection but my CAG buddy Liz managed to score the third Hulk straw as well. Well the Iron Man straws arrived yesterday, and I’ll get the Hulk straw the next time I see Liz at a CAG-CT meeting. I have to tell you that I kind of think that the straws are way-cooler than the cups themselves, I think it has to do with the little figures attached to each straw.

One of these days I’m going to have to do one of those Twisted ToyFare Theater Fumetti strips with these characters.

In the mean time I’ll just have to dangle this wicked-cool bit of fast food collectible that I’ve managed to acquire. Yep, it is a T-Shirt that was worn by Carl’s Jr. employees for the release of Spider-Man 1 (No one wanted to touch superhero licensing flicks because everyone believed them to be a dead issue. We all remember how that turned out, eh?). Anyway, there are no Carl Jr.s here on the East Coast, so my good buddy John (“Yes I own the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, you can call my lawyer and ask him”) Carbonaro, lives out that way, purchased a couple of them and shipped them back to me (‘cause he knew what I Spider-Geek I am).

So, that’s about it for now (except that I just learned that Hardees produced a set of Justice League Unlimited toys back in 2007 that I now have to hunt down. A collector’s work is never done!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Iron Man vs. The Hulk

OK kids, this one is hysterical. I acquired (via ebay) the three Iron Man toys that I was missing.

And, well they are quite cool. So I figured that I’d do my usual thing and post ‘em up here for you all to see and get jealous. As you can see, the three remaining toys are a Iron Man flying:

A sort of neat Iron Man puzzle (It has eight pieces and the instructions say “Use the letters on the puzzle pieces to help complete this puzzle.” Like I’m not going to be able to figure out how to put together an eight-piece puzzle of which I have an image of what the final puzzle is supposed to look like.)

And of course the villain of the piece, Iron Monger (powered by “The Dude” himself — can’t tell you how entertaining I found that part of the film).

Well, the coolest part of the Iron Monger figure is that it is a wind-up toy. So, well, I wound it up and watched it walk. then I got the way-cool idea to use my super-neat camera phone to take a video of it. (Sound not required, but if you do get sound, be sure to hear me giggling like a schoolgirl for the final vid.)

It took me a couple of tries before I figured out how to take a video that, upon playback, would play in the proper direction (first time out of the box it played back on its side, then upside-down).

Next up it took me a couple of times to make sure I kept the walking creature in the frame. Eventually I came up with this:

Finally, I figured that it would be kind of fun to — you know — play a bit, and since Iron Man and Hulk had come out one right after another (and currently Ultimate Iron Man and Ultimate Hulk are duking it out in the Ultimate universe), I thought would it be to have BK Iron Monger and BK Hulk duke it out right here in my office. The result follows.

Well I certainly hope that A) it uploads and plays and B) you enjoy it as much as did I.

Enjoy Effendis

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hey! I’m nearly famous!

Yeah yeah, I know that I’ve been saying this for years (even got a T-shirt that proclaims it way back in the beginning of my career), but apparently there are some folk that I’ve actually conned into believing it! No, really!

Fine, I know that that no one out there is listening to me (Save for you two guys), but there is a real-live reporter fellow named Mike Gelbwasser, who writes for the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, MA. Well Mike has this whole “Online Community” he services with his fine column, and — as something of a funnybook aficionado himself — he somehow got hooked up with my pals over at the Comicbook Artists Guild (CAG).

Mike’s goal was to hook up with any and all funnybook folks here in the New England area, and well, we turned him on to our membership, and he’s been interviewing our New England rank and file. (He already spoke to Everett Soares, writer of the wonderful Sky Pirates from Free Lunch Comics — Unavoidable aside, Free Lunch is the publishing empire of my good buddy Matt Ryan, the artist on Wülf Girlz).

Anywho, to return this focus to little ol’ me, Mike (for whatever reason) thought that I’d make for a good interview, and buttonholed me for to answer a few questions for him, which I was only too happy to do. The result, it up on line. Check it out. In the interview we talk a bit about my deep, dark past, How I “broke in” to comics, as well as some of the stuff that I’m doing today. So go on over and tell Mike that his column is very cool. (I didn’t include any pics of myself as I A) didn’t want to scare anyone, and B) I’m still in the Witness Protection Program. Shush!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Superhero Sex

We were always told that Comicbooks are the young boy’s soft porn. That is to say, that since young boys couldn’t buy Playboy,we bought funnybooks so we could ogle the chippies in spandex. Well, that was in the days before Maxim and, well, the Internet.

Still, even with the Comics Code Authority (as tepid as it is these days), Apparently Sex and superheroes isn’t a new Though, as this old article by Sci-Fi author Larry Niven wrote in 1971 in the publication All the Myriad Ways. The article is of course the legendary Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

Needless to say, that was probably not the first time that anyone dared speak the unspeakable, it was certainly not the last time, as Gabriel McKee wrote in his piece, Sex and the Single Superhero. And then again by another blogger in this piece on modern day (ne: cinematic heroes).

OK, I’m out again, see you later.

Oh yeah, the Supergirl image at the top of this post is by my good buddy (and artist on my Agent Unknown revival — Springload & Renegade) Chris Torres.

More Hulk than you can Shake a Whopper at!

So not only did I see The Incredible Hulk on Sunday (the day of all Father’s) But I managed to score a couple more of Burger King’s Hulk toys. I’m going to post the pics here now. I know that I posted some of them earlier, but I actually have some better photos now, so I figured that I’d put them up as well.

Needless to say, I plan on reviewing the flick as well over on my film column (Suspension of Belief), but in the meantime let me tell you that not only was it way better than Ang Lee’s The Hulk, from 2003, but it is shaping up to be the year of All-Marvel (Punisher: War Zone is slated for December 5th).

These are the two toys that I acquired today. The ones that appear below are close-ups.

The two that appear below, were from last week's acquisition.

As there are six toys in this set, I suspect that I’ll have the final two next week. These toys are pretty cool, and I’m enjoying them, only with all of the recent influx of superhero movies (and their requisite fast food toy tie-ins) I’m rapidly running out of places to display them all.

OK, I’m going to break for dinner now. See you all in the funny pages.

Even Fathers are Superheroes

OK, OK, I know that you folk all what to see what cool Spider-Related crap stuff I acquired from my family on Father’s day (hey, some days — not often — it is good to be me). So, without further adieu here we go.

First up, was the card itself! which is followed by a very cool Spider-Mobile, a Spider-Flashlight, and an incredible growing Spider-Man. As my daughter pointed out, I do have another growing Spidey (that came packed with a cool mini (reprint) comic), so perhaps I will grow this Spidey, and show you the resulting figure.

As you can see on the inside of the card, it was signed by both of my kids. For Father’s Day, I also went out with my son to see The Incredible Hulk (review to follow) and The Happening (M. Night Shyamalan’s latest horror Creapfest. Both were very well done, and I enjoyed them both. (My daughter chose to pass on going to the movies which is why we went to see them both, had she chosen to accompany us, we would have just taken in Hulk, as The Happening is Rated “R.)

When collecting stuff like this it always helps to have an understanding family.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Time for a Cup o' Iron Mead

As you all know, I’ve been stalking a whole passel of Marvel-related 7-eleven stuff, well, this Saturday, I acquired the four Iron Man cups and two of the Hulk Straws. I was aided and abetted in this endeavor by a pair of friends and fellow CAGers (Liz and Chris — take a bow). Liz purchased the items for me, brought them into the City on her visit to last week’s Big Apple show (which I was supposed to attend, but missed). She then passed the items over to Chris, and I acquired them from Chris when I went to the CAG-NY meeting yesterday.

Actually, now that I see the cool Hulk figures on these straws, I’m looking to see if I can find the third figure-straw. Whelp, Back to ebay, I guess.

Still out on the Horizon (which I purchased on ebay but haven’t yet arrived) are the missing Iron Man Burger King toys, and a set of Iron Man 7-eleven straws. I purchased both recently online, and am simply awaiting them to arrive into my hot little hands. I’m thinking that at the end of the summer when I have all the Summer Superhero food-related toys (those mentioned, plus (hopefully) Batman: Dark Knight, Hellboy, Punisher, Hancock, what-ever), that I’ll pen an article about them that I’ll post to my regularly-schedule fast food toy column on American Antiquities

Well, that's it for now, Perhaps I’ll be back later with some other cool Bon Motts.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Dark Knight Breakfast

Just in case you kiddies thought that all of this Summer’s food-related toys are MARVELous, I just wanted to get you all hip to what could be coming with the most important meal of the day. You got it kids, There are Batman toys packaged with your Cheerios!

(And here I was wondering if there were going to be any food toy tie-ins to that flick because of the film’s dark nature and the death of Heath Ledger. Well, I guess that the licensing gods must be served, so here come the toys!)

This one is sort of a disc launcher, and the other items on the back of the box look king of cool. To be sure, I’m not going to be actively collecting these toys (Yeah, it may be Batman, but — for better or worse — I’m first and foremost a Marvel Zombie.) Thing is, I really only like Cheerios so, I’ll probably wind up with more of these.

If I get doubles, anyone interested?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Enormity of it all

OK, so they tell me that it is hard to tell the players without a scorecard. Well, it occurs to me that I actually DO have a scorecard, and I still can’t friggen’ tell who is who and WTF is going on?

Confused? Well so am I. I’ve been reading Marvel Comics for some 46 years (yes, you read that right forty-six years!), and I’m seriously trying to A) figure out what is going on in the Marvel Universe, and B) if I actually care. No seriously. I’m trying to work it out in something relating to an organized, chronological manner. So, If I have this right, here’s a brief synopsis of what has gone down recently:

0) Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD convinces a handful of heroes to invade Latveria on a mission of questionable “National Security” (not so important by itself, but it grows into the most important event of the next couple of years, so pay attention).

1) The Avengers break up because they are attacked (Wasn’t reading them at the time, so this wasn’t as important to me as it later became).

2) Wanda goes Nutsy Fagan and remakes the world into her own little fantasy world, where Mutants rule and Humans are the disenfranchised (House of M).

3) Non-mutant heroes (along with a mutant or two) figure it all out and put a stop to it, reverting the world back to the way it was, only Wanda then slips whatever cogs she has left and eliminates all except 198 mutants worldwide.

4) Spider-Man is tapped to join a new Team of Avengers.

5) Tony Stark achieves the complete Fascisim to which he has been aspiring all of his corporate Military Industrialist Complex life, and forces through legislation that kick-starts Marvel’s Civil War Event.

6) Peter Parker is seduced by the oily-smooth father-figure opresented by Stark and all of his billions, and goes over to the dark side during the initial parts of Civil War.

7) Peter finally re-discovers his moral soul, and slides over to Captain America’s side, thus swinging the ultimate outcome to the side of the Angels.

8) Full-scale war erupts in Times Square, Cap Surrenders, the New Avengers go underground.

9) Captain America is killed.

10) Iron Man forms New-New Avenger team (henceforth called “Mighty” so as not to sound redundantly silly).

10A) In conjunction with the Mighty Avengers, Stark also founds the Legion of Substitute Avengers, (called Avengers Initiative, so as to avoid lawsuits with the Distinguished Competition) which is designed to train all of the young collaborators, turncoats, Avengers-in-training for his grand 50-State Hero Initiative.

11) May Parker is shot (with a bullet intended for Peter) and lies in a coma, thus “forcing” Spidey to re-don his black (Venom-inspired) spider-suit (which has been webbed up on the underside of some random building’s ledge for an untold time by webbing that lasts only an hour).

12) The Hulk returns from off-world to extract vengeance on the Illuminati (a secret coven of heroes who have been “manipulating” the events of Earth since 1962 or thereabouts given the vagaries of the “official” Marvel time line), captures most of the heroes in NY, and thrashes Midtown in the process.

13) After beating the crap out of half the thugs left in NY, Spidey goes back to wearing his red-and-blues and cuts a deal with Mephisto (the Effin’ Devil, sometimes referred to as Satan in the real world!) to end his marriage ah, save Aunt May’s life.

13A) The results of this deal (the law of unintended consequences?) also apparently include Harry Osborn inexplicably returning to life, MJ sleeping around with some whiny, shallow, self-involved, Brat Pack Media Whore, Peter somehow becoming stupider, more accident-prone, and less competent as a super hero.

14)) (Before, after?) Hulk all but destroys Manhattan (and it is rebuilt by Damage Control), it is invaded and nearly over run by an army of Venom-like Symbiotes that were apparently (accidentally) launched by Dr. Doom).

15) After (I think) the Symbiote invasion, the Invaders (the original team from WWII) are somehow mysteriously transported to — you guessed it — Midtown Manhattan where they fight the Avengers (Mighty, & New, along with the Thunderbolts, and probably everyone else and their brothers — as this is ongoing as I type this up, I’m sure there are more curves yet to come).

16) (Told) Simultaneously (but occurring after?) is the Summer’s great brouhaha The (not so) Secret Invasion, whereby the Skrulls have been infiltrating the Earth since shortly after FF #1 or some such. (Would it be redundant to point out that as I pen this section an armada of Skrulls have invaded, a-yup, you guessed it, Midtown Manhattan.)

17) As Midtown is being invaded, the Avengers (New & Mighty) are duking it ouch with each other where, no, not in Midtown Manhattan, but — as far away from Midtown as you can possibly be while still on Earth — in The Savage Land. There they come face-to-face with who else? The Avengers and friends (probably from 1985, but don’t even get me started about the continuity glitches rampant in that series!)

So now, I’m reading Amazing Spider-Man with a guy in the Spider-Suit that can’t be the real Peter Parker (because he made a deal with Satan! whom we also know as The Effin’ Prince of Lies!), a Spider-Man in Spider-Man Family who can’t be Spidey because, it is being written by hacks; a bunch of Spideys who appear in the Alt-Universe Marvel Titles (Marvel Adventures, et al.) because they simply aren’t mainstream; Spidey-who-isn’t-Spidey appearing in virtually every other Marvel Comic who can’t be Spidey (because nothing of value ever happens in not the main title book); and not one, but Two Spideys appearing in the Secret Invasion titles (Secret Invasion, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, etc.) neither one of which can possibly Spidey (because no one else is Spidey!).

In fact, I’m completely convinced that the only Peter Parker running around in Marvel Comics these days who actually IS Peter Parker is the one that appears in Amazing Spider-Girl, because That one is still married to MJ, actually had a daughter, and is being written by a real Spider-scribe (Tom DeFalco who also served as Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief and didn’t try to end Peter’s and Mary Jane’s marriage).

Some one please tell me I’m wrong, that I’m going to wake up and discover that all of this is a bad dream. Or, failing that, ‘splain to me (in small words) what is going on here.

Pretty please.